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Trial Lawyers' Dilemma Similar To Mediation Advocates' Dilemma: Making The Initial Demand

by Victoria Pynchon
November 2009

From Settle It Now Negotiation Blog

Victoria Pynchon

Check out Trial Lawyer's Dilemma:  How Much to Ask for at the Palm Coast Injury Law Blog this week.

As lawyer Phil Chanfrau observes:

Knowing how much to ask the Jury for  is a delicate, tough and lonely decision for any plaintiff's trial lawyer, no matter how skilled,  and experienced he is.   If he asks for too little, the jury award will not be adequate.  Too much and the jury will be insulted.  The venue should and must be considered too.  In a place like Flagler county, jurors may feel a lawyer is asking for too much, whereas under the same facts in south Florida, another jury may easily feel at home with a large damage award.

Remembering that the advantage in negotiation is always to the party who makes the first reasonably aggressive first offer the decision about how much to ask the jury for should be similar to how large the initial demand in a mediation proceeding should be.  Too much and the mediator not only spends the next hour or so defusing hot tempers on the other side, you lose most if not all of the advantage of anchoring.  For a discussion of anchoring, click here, here and here.

Biography


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 



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Website: www.settlenow.com

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